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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Anyone want to criticize spags?

    I have read a lot of criticism (most of it justified) regarding yesterdays opening game debacle. I dont see much directed at spags. At least one of these points was in the good, bad and ugly thread, but i wanted to highlight it.

    Tell me why spags is punting from the 35 yard line in a 0-0 game when we have josh brown who in a no wind situation will make close to 80% of those kicks? Our defense was playing well at that point, but not kicking the field goal in that spot reeks to me of playing not too lose rather than playing to win. Way too conservative in my view. I understand we wanted to pin them down, but our offense is clearly going to struggle to score points, spags knows that, and i think we have to take our shots to score when we can.

    The 12 men on the field has to be blamed in large part on the coaches. Tell me why our coaches cant count and call time out if need be. The confusion and lack of discipline associated with that screwup falls at least in material part on the special teams coach.

    I am not faulting spags for the loss and i am thrilled that he is the coach, simply pointing out that he isnt a messiah and as i have been saying for years, if we dont get better talent (a lot better) we arent going to win squat no matter who the coach is. As for the run defense looking better, they looked a little better, but keep in mind seattle was missing two offensive line starters and they dont have a quality back. Seattle was a terrible team last year. I dont think you can exclude a 62 yard run up the middle from an overall game analysis (any more than you get judge bulger on one slightly underthrown ball that still hit our receiver in the shoulder pads and the guy drops it).

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel



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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    It would be churlish in the extreme (dare I say "kneejerk" ?) to criticise our new HC after only one game. Yes, it was disappointing that he didn't go for the field goal and it's interesting that he has shouldered responsibility for the penalties in the post-match interview, but these are rookie errors made by a rookie coach.

    What's more interesting is how he reacts to yesterday's disappointment and how quickly he learns and makes changes. If he continues to persevere with Cogs, it'll be a less favourable reflection on his coaching style.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    I didn't have a problem with kicking the punt. That's a long field goal and this is a ball control team that is likely going to be rather conservative in their gameplan from this point forward.

    Where I would criticize Spagnuolo and/or the coaching staff for this game is the complete lack of discipline that the Rams seemed to show in terms of stupid penalties and shooting themselves in the foot any time they began to get some momentum.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    I won't criticize Spags. But ahm... Josh Brown missed a chipshot today.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    Having not watched the game, I only have a high level view of the game in my head. I'm sure that there were plenty of mistakes and questionable decisions made by the coaching staff in this game, the most apparent one being the decision to go with a punt as opposed to kicking a field goal. Personally, I think that while I would have gone for the points, Donnie was quite effective at pinning the chickens deep. That's the kind of team we are and one who should be able to consistently keep opponents trapped on their side of the field. We didn't always do that this week, and it shows that we're a work in progress.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    No but I'll critisize the offensive play calling.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    He's a rookie too. There is enough blame to go around to everyone. HC included.

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    Nick, do you dispute that josh brown stastically and historically makes that kick approximately 80% of the time? If so, how does being a ball control team impact the decision. If there is wind, or you dont have a top notch distance kicker, i understand the rationale completely.

    Our goal may be to be a ball control team, but we still need to score points to win. Controlling the ball is not per se an objective.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Nick, do you dispute that josh brown stastically and historically makes that kick approximately 80% of the time?
    The Rams were on the 35-yard line? If that's the case, it would have been a 52-yard field goal, and Brown has a career percentage of 63% for kicks over 50 yards.

    Again, I understand the decision from the perspective of wanting to play a field position game with a defense that's kept Seattle off the board and forced two turnovers to that point.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    First time as a HC well, he played it a little to close to the vest as far as I am concerned. I don't remember him going deep at all.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    I wont make excuses for Spags, but i'll hold off on the criticizing at least for now..

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    First time as a HC well, he played it a little to close to the vest as far as I am concerned. I don't remember him going deep at all.
    I can remember 3.

    One early in the game that bounced right off of Robinson's chest. One that was off of playaction that was overthrown. And one late in the game that Robinson caught.

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    There's enough blame to go around, but I am a little puzzled by the lack of discipline. Maybe it's just first game jitters for the rookies involved (that includes HC Spags, OC Shurmur, & DC Fajole), but I really expected a higher energy yet disciplined approach. The energy was there! The discipline? Not so much.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    I'm not ready to criticize SS just yet.

    You really have no idea how loud that place is until you attend a game there.

    It Is DEAFENING!

    I'm sure our offense was on silent count for every down and every series the entire first half.

    Brown was booed louder this year than last year and I'd be willing to bet it affected the short field goal attempt that he missed.

    Also, I don't think the refs did a very good job of calling the game the same both ways. There was at least one strong case for encroachment by seattle. The penalty on Little was definately BS considering Jackson was tackled 7 yards out of bounds ealier in the half. The seattle receiver was foot dancing on the sidelines when Little went to push him out of bounds. There was some questionable coverage by their DB's. Numerous blocks in the back, by seattle, helped for big gains including the 62 yarder.

    Granted the Rams made their share of bonehead mistakes, but the refs and crowd noise definately played a big part against our Rams.

    St. Louis Fans need to fill the dome with unbearable noise when seattle comes to play. I don't know if the rams are going to get that kind of support from St. Louis, but that's what needs to happen. Pipe in some crowd noise if the fans are not up to it. Do whatever it takes so seattle has to use a silent count on every down on every series!




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    Re: Anyone want to criticize spags?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    The Rams were on the 35-yard line? If that's the case, it would have been a 52-yard field goal, and Brown has a career percentage of 63% for kicks over 50 yards.

    Again, I understand the decision from the perspective of wanting to play a field position game with a defense that's kept Seattle off the board and forced two turnovers to that point.
    I disagree. You are on the road in possibly the most disruptive place for offensive cohesion & your O has just shot itself in the foot several times on a promising drive.

    You take the points if you can get them. If it weren't for a lucky bounce and a miraculous bit of volleyball on the punt coverage, the difference in field position was 15 yds.

    And , as you say, it was a tight game to that point. A field goal would have changed the flavor of that drive immensely. A miss would have been easier to swallow than nothing ventured,imo.

    And why would it ever be a good idea to put the ball back in Hasselbeck's hands at home? The early turnovers were largely unforced errors on Hasselbeck's part & good hustle by Atogwe,not the result of pressure,imo.

    I think our rookie HC got a little caught up in the tension there.

    If criticizing Spags' coordinators reflects on him... and I think it does...there's plenty to say. That was a truly anemic pass rush even by Ram standards. A lot of credit to the Hags' O-line but looping Long into the middle,etc, didn't work at all.If little,hall, and Long can't get sacks against the likes of Locklear and Willis, we are in deep doo-doo.

    False starts are the norm for visitors at Qwest but the level of confusion bordering on panic doesn't speak well of Loney and Shurmur's prep of these guys. Nor does the scarcity of screens, sweeps,and swings to relieve the pressure on the O-line which were poorly blocked even when they did get called.

    Avery returning the opening kick-off? I never want to see that again.

    Mora & Co certainly did better with their halftime adjustments as well and we failed to get the ball into SJ's hands nearly enough.

    On the positive side I loved that Spags didn't allow the team off the humiliating hook with a FG at the end & made them play to the final whistle.

    Lots of passion everywhere. A lot of it misdirected ,of course, but at least it was there. How long has it been since the best two quarters of a Rams performance in a loss were the first and fourth quarters?

    Barron didn't false start,either, to give Loney & co some credit. That's an accomplishment. As well as a very solid debut from Jason Smith.

    Despite the redunculous 12 man deal, I thought the STs were good which shows the passion and discipline are there at the lower end of the roster that Spags has put together.

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